Friday, March 21

Glad that didn't happen the first time

I had my second eye vision-correction surgery today. was worse than the first time. I asked for more drugs, but it still didn't do much for me. When they taped my head down, it was at a really weird angle and it was making me freak out. So I asked them to fix it, and they did, but I was still a little frantic from then on. Then when he said my vision was going to fade out, it did--but only really briefly. This time I could kinda see everything happening. I saw the doctor's hand coming toward my face holding an instrument, and saw the lens slide across my eye, and it was all too clear and way too disconcerting. When it was over, I was crying. Might have been crying during the whole thing, but I'm really not sure. It was just sort of awful.

*Warning: there are some squeamish parts coming up.*

I went home and got a little rest, but all too soon it was time to go back for my follow-up check. As soon as we walked out the door to get in the car, I started feeling really sick. Very nauseous and hot. I couldn't get enough air. I was pretty sure I was going to throw up, but I really didn't want to do that because they had told me before that vomiting was bad right after surgery because of the pressure it puts on your eye. I tried very hard to stay calm.

We got there, I felt extremely shaky and sick for the five or so minutes we were in the waiting room. I made Andrew go back with me to the exam room. They did a pressure check, and within a minute the surgeon was there in the room, poking me in the eye with a sharp thingy. Basically, fluid was building up in my eye, the pressure was way too high, and it was making me sick. Must get fluid out and pressure down.

Let me just say, the eye poking was not fun. They had given me a numbing drop, but it did not seem very effective. So I tried not to throw up while also trying not to freak out about the sharp thing poking my eyeball. The sharp thing turned out not to be enough, so the doc actually hustled me upstairs to shoot a little laser in my eye to relieve the pressure. That also was not fun. I think in the end he told the nurse it took six laser holes, or something.

(Apparently they normally give people some pills to keep the pressure down, but I am allergic to those pills. Fantastic.)

My eye was clearly leaking fluid from someplace that wasn't my tear duct and it was hard to keep it open. But I was feeling less nauseous. The doctor kept asking if I felt better, because the fluid release should make me instantly feel less sick. And I kept saying no, not really, because I am freaking out here and still feeling vaguely sick and now my eye hurts like crazy. But eventually I calmed down a bit.

I got the all-clear to go home and didn't really feel a ton better until after dinner. Milo's birthday dinner, because oh hey, did you remember that it is my oldest child's birthday? More on that later. It is now time for me to go to bed.

Saturday, March 1


Yesterday was my first vision-correction procedure. Everything went just the way it is supposed to. And now, 36-ish hours later, I can see just fine out of my left eye. So, so weird. In a good way.

Here's how it went down: sign a bunch of paperwork, answer some medical questions (again), pee in a cup (not pregnant!). Put on hairnet and booties. Get first of many eyedrops. Go back to surgery room, lie down. Get hooked up to blood pressure cuff, heart rate monitor, wrist monitor cuffs (also pulse?).Get clear eyepatch on non-surgery eye. Eye is slathered with iodine. A mark is made above my eyebrow to mark surgery eye (I later see it is a big black L). More eyedrops. More medical questions. More eyedrops. Take relaxation medicine that tasted gross. Get goopy eye stuff, makes my eyelid feel like it can't open but doesn't want to shut. Can't see out of my eye anymore, really. Too goopy. Try to relax. The room is freezing, request warm blanket (which has been offered twice already). Wait. Wait. Wait.

The relaxation meds don't seem to be doing much. The nurse said I might not feel like I was really there, or might feel really tired. She said I probably wouldn't remember any of this later. (I do remember it.)

After maybe 20 minutes of waiting, the bed is reclined all the way and I am wheeled into the surgery room. I get another warm blanket. An oxygen thingy is put in my nose. My head is taped down to the bed. A paper sheet thing is placed over my head and taped to my face. A hole is cut out of the sheet over my eye. Surgeon comes in.

My surgery eye is opened with the speculum. Can't feel it, really. I don't even know if my non-surgery eye is open or closed. Surgeon describes what he is doing. I am supposed to look at a bright light. More goop. He says my vision may fade out for a bit. It does, which is a little disconcerting but also super good. Tiny sparkly lights are all I can see, like multi-colored glitter on a black backdrop. At times I see bursts of swirly lights and rainbow colors. I can tell when the lens is sliding into my eye.The surgeon tells me as he positions the four corners of the lens behind my iris. This takes longer than I expect and I feel nervous.

Then it's over and time to rinse my eye. I can't feel it except when it hits the bridge of my nose a little. Cold. I don't remember the speculum coming out. The tape hurts as it is pulled off my face. That's pretty strong tape. I am wheeled back out. The blood pressure cuff and monitors are removed. I feel like crying a little bit, but I don't know why. I am vaguely dizzy.

The nurse puts my bed into the upright position and asks me to slowly swing my legs over the side. It seems too fast, I am not ready to stand yet. But I do. And it's fine. I walk out with her, there is Andrew. I can tell already that I can see better, though everything is fuzzy (I don't have my right contact in so that eye is useless, and my left is very fuzzy and numb and weird-feeling). I sit with another nurse. She gives me a bottle of water and a cookie and explains the post-op instructions. She is pointing at a sheet of paper which is utterly ridiculous to me because I can't see much.

She tells me my eye is dripping a bit and hands me a wipe. It dab at my eye and the wipe comes back bloody. Oh.

On the way out I stop in the restroom to put in my right contact. In the mirror I see the yellow of the iodine on my face, a slightly swollen and very dilated eye, and just a tiny crust of blood in the corner of my eye. But it doesn't look nearly as operated-on as I would have thought.

The rest of the day my eye was scratchy and dry feeling, and pretty fuzzy. My depth-perception was way off. I had a headache. I watched TV, rested, and put in lots of various eyedrops. Yesterday evening we had tickets to see the KC Symphony perform the score to The Wizard of Oz while the movie played. I wasn't sure I should go, considering my eye was still so uncomfortable. But I wanted to see the performance and we had had our tickets for months. So we went, and it was incredible. I put my lubricating drops in several times, which helped.

Then overnight I wore my protective clear plastic eyepatch thing (taped to my face) for sleeping and woke up this morning feeling much better. The scratchy feeling is gone, my follow-up appointment went well, and now I can see out of my left eye with no contact lens. I keep forgetting that it's permanent, like I think, "I'll go take out my contacts now, and just relax in my glasses." But no. Can't do that. Huh. The next three weeks will be weird. Maybe I'll get used to it.

So that is probably way more than you wanted to know about the phakic IOL procedure. Not quite what I expected, which I think is a good thing.

Thursday, February 27

A life-changing day

Tomorrow I am having vision correction surgery. I can't even believe it, really. Not LASIK, not PRK. I'm getting a phakic IOL. It's kind of like a permanent contact lens inside your eye.

I know you probably don't get it, exactly, why this is life changing. And you especially don't get it if you have good eyesight. See, I have terrible eyesight. (For those of you in the know, my fellow myopia people, I have -8.00 in my left eye and -6.00 in my right.) It's bad. Blurry. Like, can't read my bedside clock. Like, if he's sitting still, can't tell if my kid is in the room.

And suddenly, after a ten-minute procedure, I'll be able to see (out of one eye; they do them on separate days). I'm so nervous. That isn't even a strong enough word. I'm afraid I'm making a bad decision. Not sure why I think that. Maybe because it was hasty? Maybe because that's just how I roll, overanalyzing things?

Anyway, I honestly feel like my identity is changing. Kind of like how in high school, I played the violin. It was what I did, who I was. And then I went to college and didn't play, and suddenly I had to find another person to be. What kind of person will perfect-vision me be?

I clearly need to go to bed. Think of me tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 11

My little girl is TWO

Here we are...Olive is two years old. Before I go on and on (and on) about her, let me give you the stats from this afternoon's two-year check-up:

  • Weight: 27 lbs., 7 oz. (75th percentile)
  • Height: 35 inches (75th percentile)
  • Head circumference: 19 1/4 inches (80th percentile)

Our doctor said that Olive looks like she's going to be a tall girl. Kinda like her momma, eh? The doctor's visit was thankfully uneventful. Olive is healthy and developmentally right on track or even ahead. The doc asked me if Olive was talking much, and I was like, uh, yeah. Like a lot. But Olive was completely silent for most of the visit. I kept asking her questions, trying to get her to say something, anything. But she just gave me a look, like "As if, Mother. As if." Olive gave us just one nugget of speech. She was looking at a Sesame Street book, and said something like "Dat's Big Bird righ dere by Oscar da Grouch too." And the doctor said, "Yep, she can talk all right--like a four year old!" I was proud.

Olive is hilarious. Just before getting in the bath, when she's stripped down to her diaper, she does a naked dance. She bobs and sways and tips her head back and forth, saying, "I'm naked, I'm naked, I'm naked!" I really really want to get it on video. But every time she sees a camera, she says "I see me?" and comes over to see the picture. So I have a lot of video of her saying that and no video of the naked dance.

Olive has officially quit using her booster seat. She sits at a regular grown-up chair. Mostly on her knees, but sometimes just on her bottom. And when she stands up, I threaten her with going back to the booster. She does still use/need a bib. She drips a lot of food and tends to be a little messy. She doesn't like being messy. Frequently while eating she'll pick up her non-finger-food food, and then get upset that her hands are messy. She insists on us wiping them midway through the meal. Then she gets them dirty again, and the cycle continues.

Her hair is getting longer (obviously) but not so long that she's had a real haircut. I've trimmed her bangs a few times, and today my hairstylist trimmed her bangs (does that count as a first haircut? I say no, because I didn't take any pictures), but that is just to keep her hair out of her eyes. Now that she's more okay with hair ties and clips, I might quit cutting bangs. Not sure.

Olive is still missing her incisor teeth. I think they're on their way in, though, and then she'll have everything. I think. I'm no tooth expert.

Olive is still into the things Milo is into, though her interests have begun to develop individually as well. When it's TV time, she requests Chuggington (Milo's train preference du jour). When she picked out a sticker at the doctor's office, she choice a Thomas sticker. They both love Fancy Nancy and books of all kinds. As for her own interests, she has gotten into Winnie the Pooh and friends. Her pronunciation is sweet: "Winnie Pooh, Plig-a-let, Kangaroo & Kangaroo, Lowl, Tigger (okay, that one's pretty normal)." She's more into baby dolls than Milo, but he's getting into pretend play and wants the babies too ("I'm the daddy and you're da mudder, Olive. And this is our baby.").

Olive likes to be carried. She loves her paci, and lately has been sneaking it out of its place in her room when we're not looking. (Contraband soothing.) She likes music in the car. She always wants to wash her hands. She likes dancing. She repeats things until we acknowledge that she has spoken.

She's not great a cleaning up. Takes a lot of urging before she joins in. It's usually the threat of losing her dance party privileges that does it.

She's getting better at letting me comb her hair. "Tangles in my hair," she says. But where she used to scrunch away from me and not let me comb, she now sits still while I work out the tangles. Sorry, sweetie, that just comes with the girl territory (at least until you're old enough to decide differently).

Olive has recently starting telling me that she loves me. Swoon. Sometimes it's after I tell her I love her. "I love you too, Mommy!" Sometimes it's out of the blue, like as she leaves in the morning to go to daycare. "Byebye Mommy, I love you." Oh em gee, it is adorable. She gives random attack-hugs and kisses too. I soak them up.

My Olive is still a snuggler. When she is sleepy or overwhelmed by people, she wants me to pick her up, and she lays her head down on my shoulder. She wraps her arms around me, holding on as tight as she can. Then she pops her head up, brushing my hair away from my shoulders. She likes no hair to be in her way.

Likes: candy, monkey game on the tablet, ABCmouse, eating Mommy and Daddy's food, Chuggington, reading books, her grandparents, ice cream, taking naps, yogurt, being tickled by Daddy, her paci.

Dislikes: feeling scared (like when being chased stops being fun), being cold (after bath time, on the way to daycare, in the car, etc. etc. etc.), zippers that aren't zipped all the way up, not getting to do it herself, sharing the stool in the bathroom while brushing teeth, sleeping past 6:00am.

She's my girl, my baby, my amazing wonderful fantastic brilliant little person. I do love her so. Happy birthday, Olive.

Wednesday, February 5

One of those little moments

Earlier tonight I was feeling sort of mushy and sentimental toward my son. And when I tucked him into bed, I told him so. I said to him, "I love you so much, my heart feels full, so full it feels like it might burst with all that love."
He replied, "You should drink lots of fluids for that. And water. And milk."

Monday, February 3

A breakthrough

Olive requested ponytails today. She has only recently kept them in for more than 20 seconds at a time, and today, without any prompting, she asked for them. And she looks so stinking cute with pigtails in her hair. (She calls them ponytails.) It's a small thing, but it makes me smile.

Thursday, January 30

I barely know what day it is

I feel busy. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, but there it is. Busy. Also? Tired. I can use these two feelings to explain why I have essentially ignored this blog for the last year. Or more. But man, I am regretting it. (Don't assume that means I will change my behavior, but know that I do feel bad about it.)

The little moments are passing me by, it seems. I notice them in the moment, and try to remember the softness of Olive's cheek against mine, or the clean smell of Milo's hair. The way Milo sweetly kisses me goodnight. The way Olive plays with my hair. But unless I write them down, those things fade away. The little things they say and do just turn into the everyday moments of our lives, like making dinner and taking baths and reading books.

I have been so acutely aware lately of how little my kids are, but also how big they're getting. Milo is coming up on four. And he's so tall, and so thin and so NOT a baby AT ALL. And how Olive is going to be TWO in one week (and I'm going to just go ahead and say that her 23-month update is just not happening. I'll give you a really good two-year update instead.) and she is barely a baby anymore either. And how I adore the under-one set, but also how thankful I am that we are past that, that my family is growing and changing. I love their ages. I think the next year is going to be amazing. I will probably love ages 2 and 4 even more than 1 and 3 (but to be quite honest, 1 and 3 could be...difficult). Man, I love those guys, and I don't want to miss a single thing.

So being so busy... why do I do this to myself? I have a full-time job. I am a parent. I (try to) run. And I have a pretty successful side business. Did I ever think I'd be an entrepreneur? No way. But I am so crazy proud of myself. I wasn't sure if running The Gender Reveal would be something that I would want to do long-term, but the farther Stephanie and I go, the more I want it. I love feeling this connection to these parents-to-be. Seeing how happy and excited they are in the photos they send us makes me grin like a fool every time. We have so much planned for 2014. I am fairly certain I'll only get busier from here.

I can't really answer the "why I do this" question other than I love the things I do. I can't see the future; I don't know where I'll be (or where my business will be) a year from now, or two years from now. But no matter how busy I get, I want this blog to be a part of it, to be my memory. Those little moments aren't going to remember themselves. And I want to tell you all about it along the way.

Sunday, January 5


Olive was petting our cat this morning. "Zadie my friend," she said.

"Oh yeah?" I said. "Who else is your friend?"

She poked Andrew and said "Daddy my friend."

Then she turned to me and said "Mommy my best friend."

Ohmygawwwd, my heart melted.

Saturday, January 4

Olive is 22(ish) months

Yikes, not a great month for blogging. But never fear, Olive's 22-month update is here. Finally.

This girl. She knows what she wants, and she's getting very good at putting whole thoughts together in order to express it. "Milo, hold my hand." "NOOOOOOO!!!!"  "This one's mine, Mommy. That one's yours." I can actually have a conversation with her, and it doesn't feel completely one-sided. Just amazing.

She likes dancing. We play Dora's clean-up song every night to clean up, and then the kids always want to play it one more time for a dance party. Olive's moves mostly consist of spinning around until she falls over, but she does it with exuberance.

Olive is the best going-to-bed kid ever. When she's sleepy, you can ask her if she's ready for a nap, and she'll say yes and head on up to her bed. By the time you get there, she'll be laying in the bed, just waiting for someone to tuck her in and then leave her alone. She is coming up on two years old, but when given the chance, she will still take two naps a day. At daycare she takes just one nap.

Olive is very averse to loud noises. This afternoon I was trying to get the kids to help me make Christmas cookies, and Olive was into it for awhile until the hand mixer came out. Then it was "too loud!" and away she went. She also doesn't like when I blow-dry my hair.

She is getting crazy stubborn. She refuses to clean up during clean-up time, she won't help with this or that, she refuses to say sorry when she shoves her brother. If this is any preview of what  her teenage years will be like, we're in big trouble.

She loves playing on Daddy's tablet. "Monkey game?" she asks hopefully. Maybe I'm just old, but sometimes it's hard to believe a girl who isn't even two yet can handle this device. She started an episode of Daniel Tiger without any help. "I did it!" she says proudly.

Every time I comb her hair, she claims it hurts. She does get crazy bedhead though, so it must be combed. She still doesn't like hair ties or clips, though she'll tolerate them briefly. So I still cut bangs for her. I think she  looks cute with bangs.

She likes trains. She likes dolls and the dollhouse. She likes watching Dinosaur Train.

She and Milo get along pretty well. They can make each other giggle and they talk to each other. It's adorable, actually.

Olive's 23-month update is due in just a few days. So I'll stop this one. Can you even believe how close to two years old she is getting? I can't.